All leaders are born,
but exemplary leaders
James m . Kouzes & Barry z . Posner
e v i d e n c e B a s e d | c u s t o m i z a B l e | o n l i n e
Are leaders born or made?The answer? Both. Naturally, they are born,
and every day they are made. And, they can be
made better. Thats because leadership is an
observable set of skills and abilities that can
be measured and learned. In fact, leadership
development is really selfdevelopment. It is a
lifelong learning journey.
Its EvEryonEs BusInEss!
Simply put, every day leaders achieve the extraordinary. Nearly 30
years ago, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner set out to discover exactly
how ordinary people accomplish great things. In fact, they wrote the
book that has stood the test of time to become the modern classic
on leadership. More than 1.5 million people worldwide have read
their BusinessWeek bestseller, The Leadership Challenge. This
groundbreaking book and the assessment tool that followed, The
Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), are even more relevant today.
Consider the new leadership context: Heightened uncertainly around the world and a dramatically
changing workforce. Even more connectednesswith access to information just a keystroke away.
Social capital has replaced intellectual capital as the new currency. And finally, we live in a hurryup
culture, where the speed and rate of change can be frenetic. But one thing has remained the same.
The need for competent and trustworthy leaders. Its what the tools and resources of The Leadership
Challenge and The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are all about. Within each of us, we can
discover the power to lead.
WHAt ArE tHE BEnEFIts?
Leaders who practice exemplary leadership are more effective in meeting jobrelated demands and
more successful in representing their groups to upper management. They create higher performing
teams and foster renewed loyalty and commitment. They increase motivational levels and willingness
to work hard. They reduce absenteeism and turnover. They encourage personal credibility and ethical
behavior. But best of all, they inspire the people they work with and those people are, in turn, more
committed, excited, energized , influential, and empowered. They will exert a positive influence on
everyone in your organization. So you see, leadership really is everybodys business. And it does matter.
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Putting Leadership into Practice
tHE FIvE PrACtICEs oF EXEMPLAry LEADErsHIP: An EvIDEnCEBAsED MoDEL
Leaders at their personal best. This is what the authors focused on
to better understand the characteristics common to extraordinary
leadership achievements. After conducting hundreds of interviews,
analyzing thousands of case histories, and reviewing hundreds of
thousands of survey questions, they discovered that leaders at all
levels have similar patterns of behavior. In fact, they found that
leadership is not at all about personality: its about practice. When
getting extraordinary things done in organizations, leaders engage
in The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, and these Five
Practices are available to anyone, in any organization, who accepts the
MEAsurInG tHE FIvE PrACtICEs
Kouzes and Posner believe that those best at leading are the best at learning, and one important way
to learn is by receiving regular feedback. Thats why they created The Leadership Practices Inventory
(LPI): to enable your leaders to be the best they can be and continually improve their leadership skills.
Used by more than 3 million people worldwide, this 360degree assessment tool is part of the prework
that participants complete before The Leadership Challenge Workshopor it can be used as part
of an existing leadership development program. It approaches leadership as a measurable, learnable,
and teachable set of behaviors, and helps individuals and organizations like yours measure leadership
competencies, while guiding you through the process of applying The Five Practices of Exemplary
Leadership model to reallife organizational challenges.
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LeadersIf youre anything like the thousands of
individuals and organizations that have
experienced the program, you too will have
a leadership story to tell. Seldom do the
stories sound like textbook management
case studies, but rather they are often tales
of personal transformation and bold action.
Weve highlighted some leadership stories
in this brochure that we know youll
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1M O D E LT H E WAY 1. Clarify values by fi nding your voice and
affi rming shared ideals.
2. Set the example by aligning actions withshared values.
2I NSP IREA SHARED VISION 3. Envision the future by imagining exciting
and ennobling possibilities.
4. Enlist others in a common vision byappealing to shared aspirations.
The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership
the FiVe practices
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4ENABLEOTHERS TO ACT 7. Foster collaboration by building trust and
8. Strengthen others by increasingselfdetermination and developing competence.
5ENCOURAGETHE HEART 9. Recognize contributions by showing
appreciation for individual excellence.
10. Celebrate the values and victories bycreating a spirit of community.
5. Search for opportunities by seizing theinitiative and by looking outward for innovative ways to improve.
6. Experiment and take risks by constantlygenerating small wins and learning from experience.
the FiVe practices
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Model the WayLeaders like Sahira tend to focus on valuesand she has got one of the strongest work ethics Ive ever seenWhen Sahira Abdool was promoted to Director and Chief Clerk of the Houston Municipal Courts
Administration Department, she faced major challenges. The organization was mired in topdown
management and staff moral was at an all time low. A productiononly environment yielded only
negligible results. Sahira took on the assignment with a focus on optimizing the organization through
values, vision, and shared aspirations. She set the example from the top and the results have been very
impressive in a short period of time.
saHiRa aBDOOl DIRECTOR AND CHIEF CLERK, HOUSTON MUNICIPAL COURT, HOUSTON, TEXAS
ModeL the W
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Inspire a Shared VisionWhat we want to do most at Opportunity Impact is really open the doors for children to design and believe in and create their own futureEmily LoSavio left a career in the insurance industry to pursue her personal vision of service to
underprivileged children. Based on her own upbringing, she was committed to this kind of public
service. She was able to share her vision for these children with others and secure funding for
Opportunity Impact, an afterschool program for youngsters who reside in public housing. Through
academic support, coaching, and enrichment activities, Emily and her colleagues encourage the
children to achieve a vision of their own longterm success.
emilY lOsaviOFOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OPPORTUNITY IMPACT, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
inspire a shared Vision
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Challenge the ProcessI had a vision for where I wanted the stores to go, and I wanted technology to start playing a very large role in thatGenesco, Inc., a retail organization, sought a new Chief Information O cer for their shared services
Information Technology (IT) function. The challenge was to leverage economies of scale while providing
specifi c, tailored technological solutions to unique and independent business segments. Jeff was able to
align the business and IT, change the functional silo way of operating, and get the various departments
working together toward a common purpose. As a result, the team was able to accomplish more than
they had previously thought possible.
JeFF ORtONCIO AND CHIEF LOGISTICS OFFICER, GENESCO, INC. NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
chaLLenge the process
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Enable Others to ActIf you dont know, you cant do betterHe grew up in the ghetto of Los Angeles. Intrigued by a guy in a suit who was making money legally,
he became an entrepreneur at an early age. He realized the important of understanding the world of
fi nance in order to succeed and he later founded Operation Hope as a beginning of his lifelong eff ort to
give back to his community. The organization off ers internet access, loans, and fi nancial literacy training
to enable citizens to develop businesses and function economically in the world.
JOHN HOPe BRYaNtFOUNDER AND CEO, OPERATION HOPE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
enaBLe others to act
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Encourage the HeartAt the store level, we celebrate on a daily basisTom Johnson has worked in retail for many years. He chose to modify his leadership style after
attending a Leadership Challenge Workshop many years ago. The environment that Tom and
his leadership teammates have created at Aropostale is very much a spirit of community. The